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Thu 11 Mar 2010

DNS Enabler Snow 4.0.4 wth Dynamic DNS Updates

Category : Technology

I've released DNS Enabler Snow version 4.0.4. This is the one with the ability to listen to DNS update notifications from clients on dynamic IP addresses and keep their host names always in sync with their current IP addresses.

This is how it looks like :

The new control is the "Allow Dynamic DNS Updates" check-box.

Once this is set and the name server restarted, the DNS Server will be able to listen to dynamic DNS updates from clients on dynamic IP addresses, or clients that are constantly on the move, like MacBooks. This is so that everybody can refer to them simply by their domain names and not worry about which place or even which country they happen to be currently on.

The clients need to run the companion application to DNS Enabler Snow, called DNS Agent. The only thing the DNS administrator needs to do is to transfer an authorisation key generated by the server to each of these clients so they can be given the credentials to update the server without any user intervention.

Clicking the question-mark icon next to the "Allow Dynamic DNS Updates" opens up a dialog box where you can find the Authorisation Key. The administrator can drag the authorisation key onto the server's desktop and copy it to each of the clients whose IP addresses need to be tracked, either via file transfer or email.

Once on the client, if it has the DNS Agent application on it, the user can simply double-click on the key file to open the DNS Agent application to install the key. Then its a simple matter of entering the address of the DNS Server and the host name of the client machine. Then he can start the IP address-monitoring daemon and close the application.

The daemon continuously monitors the state of the IP address and updates the DNS Server whenever the IP address changes. It continues to run, even across shutdowns and reboots, until the user stops it from the DNS Agent interface.

If you leave the DNS Enabler Snow application on in the server, you can see the updates appearing automatically, but a few minutes later (say, 10 minutes). Why so late? This is because updates are cached by the server but not written straightaway to disk because the updates have to be fast in case they come in in volume (the way dyndns.com's server's load would probably be). They're registered immediately by the server and you can check that it's true if you do a dig on the server in Terminal. But the zone files are batch-updated later. When they do get updated, you'll see that reflected on the DNS Enabler interface immediately.

Both DNS Enabler Snow 4.0.4 and DNS Agent 1.0 are available now.

And so, I can continue now with my iPhone/iPad exploration.

Posted at 3:17PM SGT | permalink


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